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William Mitchell
William Mitchell Jr. trained as a silversmith in Boston and worked in Richmond from 1818 to 1845. He was initially in partnership with Elisha Taft from 1818 to 1820 under the firm Taft & Mitchell before establishing his own silversmith business that he grew to be largest in Virginia. Mitchell retailed a large range of products including both clocks and watches. He retired in 1845 and sold the business to his younger brother Samuel and John Tyler who continued under the name Mitchell & Tyler. Catherine Hollan has extensive information on Mitchell in her Virginia Silversmiths book (Hollan, 538-544).
 
Mitchell Watch
 
Mitchell Watch

Maker:
Number:
City:
Date:
William Mitchell
2293
Richmond, VA
1830 est.

Description: Full plate detached lever fusee movement with stop feature, three arm balance, white enamel dial with seconds, gold hands and dust cover. Movement engraved "DETACHED" and "PATENT" on the Balance table, typical markings for imported lever movements of this period. Rare 18K gold American (consular) case, signed Y&D New York, with an eagle in the cameo. This New York case maker is unidentified. Few American watches cased in gold survive because they were scrapped for cash during one of the many economic downturns that occured in the past 200 years.


References and recommended reading:
  • Catherine Hollan, Virginia Silversmiths, Jewelers, Clock- and Watchmakers, 1607-1860, Their Lives and Marks, Hollan Press, Missouri, 2010